Tapping My Foot
I am tapping my foot as I stand in the pediatrician’s office, waiting to be seen.
I am here for this unplanned visit because last night I had a moment – an “oh shoot, this kid has a flat head” moment. You know, that 2nd child moment. The poor kid is such a good newborn that he lets me lay him down practically all day without making a peep. Bobby handsome - little brother to a wild toddler that pulls and prods - who won’t so much as make a peep when he douses himself in his own spit up. And the guilt washes over me.
So here I am, in the pediatrician’s office, tapping my foot. I had just hurried over from Mary Clare’s first Easter egg hunt. Naturally, she cared more about putting eggs in her basket and taking them out than what was inside the eggs – but hey, I was there. I have 67 other things I really want to accomplish today.
I am waiting for the doctor to come in and inevitably tell me, “do more tummy time, wear him in the carrier, he’ll be fine.” I am tapping my foot thinking about when I will get him back home and what I will be able to accomplish before the babysitter has to leave. I am tapping my foot and making a list. I am tapping my foot and mentally planning what items from that list can be pushed until tomorrow. 6 week old Bobby is peacefully nuzzled up against my chest but I am tapping my foot. As I go to plop my incredibly agreeable baby boy down in his car seat and grab my phone to compulsively edit my to do list – he contentedly coos – as if to tell me, “slow down a little mom.” I lean back against the exam table, close my eyes as I take a deep breath and hold my son. I lean back and do the one task that should be at the top of my to do list. I feel the warm weight of my baby on my chest. My baby, my very own baby boy that I made with my husband. I listen to his noises, I breathe that sweet baby smell and I let the remarkable truth that he is my son wash over me.
When I had my daughter, people told me to enjoy the baby snuggles and I thought they were crazy. I hated the newborn phase. I hated the monotony of it. I wanted time to pass and an everyday routine to emerge. I wished those days away so I could get back to my life. What a heartbreak it is to wish your days away. As it does, the days, weeks and months passed us by. Soon she sat up, and crawled, and walked, and ran and, most certainly did not sleep on my chest. I had robbed myself of all the joy and really the privilege that we, as mothers, have to be with our babies when they are so very new.
I read something the author, Geneen Roth, wrote and it stopped me dead in my tracks.
“We find ourselves right in the middle of the fragile, unrepeatable, never-ending now – which, it turns out, is the only place from which we can ever know what enough is.”
As I am busy tapping my foot, mentally living my life 5 and 6 steps ahead of where I am – I am robbing myself of the unrepeatable moment that is right now. It’s incredible how the tiniest person can teach the biggest lesson. Exist where you are, it is the only place you can be and it will always be enough! I am so grateful Bobby was able to remind me of this and that I was well enough to listen to him!